#203 – Storage and Chia Cryptocurrency Farming

#203 – Storage and Chia Cryptocurrency Farming

Chris EvansGuest Speakers, Storage Hardware

This week, Martin and Chris delve into cryptocurrency mining in a lengthy discussion on Chia with Robert Novak. Chia is a new cryptocurrency technology that differs from previous online currencies in that the basis for earning rewards (or coins) is based on the volume of data stored on disk, rather than raw compute performed. Rob takes the team through a discussion of the difference between the processes that earn currency, explaining how Proof of Work and Proof of Stake has evolved to Proof of Space and Time with Chia. Rob goes on to explain how he developed the best mining (or farming) rig, based on used server technology and a mix of HDD and SSD.

You can find more of Rob’s experiences both with Chia and other cryptocurrencies on his blog at https://rsts11.com/crypto/.

Elapsed Time: 00:52:40


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:04:30 – What is cryptocurrency?
  • 00:07:00 – Crypto mining becomes harder over time
  • 00:08:37 – What is Proof of Stake, Proof of Work and Proof of Space?
  • 00:10:00 – Chia uses Proof of Space, storing data on disk
  • 00:14:30 – How are Chia rewards generated?
  • 00:15:50 – The chance of a reward is relatively random
  • 00:17:50 – Multiple exabytes (eight at the time) already hold plots
  • 00:20:00 – More disk space is allocated to Chia than shipped by some vendors
  • 00:21:20 – What’s the right choice of hardware for farming?
  • 00:22:20 – Chia quickly uses up SSD endurance
  • 00:25:00 – Could a memory drive increase performance?
  • 00:30:00 – Chia is causing a large capacity HDD shortage
  • 00:31:20 – Is Chia as environmentally friendly as we think?
  • 00:34:30 – Tape is impractical for Chia data due to harvesting reporting times
  • 00:35:20 – Could MAID technology help to cut Chia power costs?
  • 00:38:40 – What is the right hardware architecture for Chia?
  • 00:41:24 – How should we protect our Chia plots?
  • 00:44:40 – Old hardware is a good place to start with Chia
  • 00:47:44 – Are people using the public cloud for farming?
  • 00:51:00 – Wrap Up

Related Podcasts & Blogs

Rob’s Bio

Robert Novak brought his broadcast communication degree to Silicon Valley over 25 years ago. Since then, he’s been a full-stack sysadmin for companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 100, an early javelin-catcher for production big data environments, and most recently a datacenter technical solutions architect for an enormous network manufacturer headquartered on Tasman Drive in San Jose. He is currently between adventures, working on his home lab and cryptocurrency environments, blogging at rsts11.com and rsts11travel.com, and trying to reconcile the smoker and grill with his need to fit into his clothes when he does go back to work. 

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